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Shields writes in her book. “She feared I would leave her. I always feared something would happen to my mother or that I was not good enough for her. I never doubted her love for me but I was perpetually worried about her well-being and self-esteem—the things mothers usually worry about for their children.” Due to the tempestuous nature of their relationship, Shields was never able to fully articulate these feelings to her mother. After succumbing to an illness related to dementia, Teri Shields passed away in 2012 leaving Brooke with unresolved feelings, regrets and an overwhelming sense of sadness. More empathy than anger At the end of the book, Shields shares the letter she wrote to her mother after her death. “Writing the letter was not cathartic for me,” Shields says. “I don’t think I can hope for a true sense of closure or catharsis because it’s sad. I have more empathy than I do anger, and that’s just harder to live with.” Still, Shields says she feels little regret that her mother never read the letter. “If I could have had it any other way, I would’ve composed that letter years ago,” she says. “But, then it would’ve been hard not to expect some

44 inbetween

Top: Brooke with her mother, Teri Right: Brooke with her daughters, Rowan & Grier

type of resolution. And it’s very possible that resolution was not going to come anyway — that’s the hardest piece of it all.” Path of success Despite a difficult childhood and early fame, Shields did not take the destructive path followed by many child stars. Instead, she chose another path — one leading to a Princeton degree, an enduring career, a successful second marriage and two strong, determined daughters. About coming to terms with her daughters’ independence, Shields admits, “I had to work on not being threatened by their autonomy because I grew up thinking that real love had to be based on co-dependence.” In Shields’ mind, “Independence equalled abandonment.”

How has she learned to let her girls make their own choices? Shields says it takes practice. “Our kids don’t have that many years under our roof. If we render them inept, weak, fearful or reliant, we’re doing them a disservice. There’s no way to succeed if we don’t understand the concept of failure.” Teen pressures Given her daughters’ ages, Shields recognizes that her girls will soon be going to parties and facing pressure from their peers. But what rules will she have for them about drinking? “We talk about drinking and everything all the time,” Shields says. “I think kids are teenagers before they become teens, especially in this day and age. So I make them talk about these topics with me now. They need to know

Profile for INBETWEEN Magazine

INBETWEEN Dec/Jan 2014-2015  

Our holiday issue is packed with fun stories crafted for every parent of a teen! Featuring stunning gift guides and getting glowing skin to...

INBETWEEN Dec/Jan 2014-2015  

Our holiday issue is packed with fun stories crafted for every parent of a teen! Featuring stunning gift guides and getting glowing skin to...